Sheet Music Collections Sampler

The Smithsonian Institution is home to a number of collections of sheet music. Two of the largest are the Sam DeVincent Collection of Illustrated American Sheet Music, at the Archives Center, National Museum of American History, and the Bella C. Landauer Collection of Aeronautical Sheet Music, at the National Air and Space Museum Library.

A conservator at Smithsonian Libraries walks you through the preservation of sheet music, damaged by iron gall ink, and hundreds of years of use.

It should be noted that due to the historical moment in which the sheet music was written and collected, the representational qualities of the music in this selection are limited.